Pharmacies Reduced COVID-19 Under-Vaccinations

Pharmacy successfully reduced severe COVID-19 cases
Walgreens State & Randolph Flagship Store
Chicago (Precision Vaccinations News)

With locations near most intersections, recent data show that more than two-thirds of adult COVID-19 vaccinations were administered at pharmacies during the pandemic. 

And a recent study found these pharmacists were very good at enabling their patients to protect themselves from severe COVID-19.

This peer-reviewed study was published by the journal Vaccines on May 11, 2023, and examined trends in primary series and multi-dose completion rates with Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine administered at retail pharmacies in the U.S.

This study found 81.5% of patients received their second dose of the mRNA-1273 vaccine on time per U.S. CDC recommendations.

Although some patients were late to receive the second dose, most of the study population (84.9%) completed the 2-dose vaccine series.

This study of more than 4.8 million mRNA-1273 vaccine recipients from Walgreens pharmacies described characteristics of patients by the number of doses completed and time of administration.

Patient characteristics associated with receiving the second dose included being older, identifying as Asian or White (not Hispanic/Latino), and not traveling over 10 miles for the first dose.

Walgreens operates 8,886 drugstores in 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

About 78% of the U.S. population lives within five miles of a Walgreens or Duane Reade pharmacy.

The mean age for the first and second primary series dose was similar at approximately 50 years, and female patients represented a slight majority.

Women also accounted for just over 60% of those who received a third dose.

However, the mean age was substantially higher at 61 years.

The higher age of receipt of the third dose was expected as CDC guidelines recommended that only adult patients who were moderately or severely immunocompromised should receive a third primary series dose.

The high volume of COVID-19 vaccines administered by pharmacists during the study period emphasizes the importance of pharmacists as care providers, especially in disadvantaged communities where access to other forms of care may be difficult, wrote these researchers.

Moderna, Inc. funded this research, and the researchers disclosed industry relationships.

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Article by
Donald Hackett